When we rang up Dino's for comment, owner Rick Wildeboor (who owns the business, not the building) said the space has "changed hands." Whether or not Dino's will stick around "remains to be seen." "Nothing's set in stone," Wildeboor told us.
If I may get personal for a moment: I've been going to Dino's for roughly a decade, and I know countless folks who have been doing the same for much, much longer. In addition to cheap pitchers and just about the best greasy no-frills burger you'll find in the 37206 zip code, Dino's has also long been a go-to spot for punk rock, noise-rock, hip-hop, experimental, poetry and country shows (and beyond). Next door to sleek-and-stylish bar No. 308, Dino's is a holdover hang for Old Nashville types — rock 'n' rollers, barflies and roustabouts. Here's hoping it keeps hanging on.
Update: Sources tell us Miranda Whitcomb Pontes of Burger Up and Josephine is behind the changes at Dino's. More here.
My question this week: Do you have a standard snack you keep stashed in your desk drawer at work? For those days when you skip breakfast and need a little fuel till lunchtime? Or when lunch wasn't enough to tide you over until dinner? Do you tend toward savory snacks? Sweet snacks? Some of each?
For a long time, my standard go-to was just a bag of bulk trail mix. But recently, I've switched over to whole wheat crackers and almond butter. And there's usually some sort of chocolate floating around in the drawer. (The nature of my snack habits has in large part been determined by the Scene office's proximity to The Turnip Truck.)
So tell us your snack secrets! We won't judge. Promise.
And what else ya got?
Over in Melrose, The Sutler has kicked off a new Sunday deal that they're calling "Grass Fed Sundays," a weekly family-style dinner event. The name is not necessarily a reference to grass-fed meat, although Chef Nick Seabergh does try to source from local farms whenever possible. Instead, the "grass" is a nod to the local bluegrass and string music that entertains diners from The Sutler's stage during the Sunday suppers. From 4:30 to 10 p.m., the kitchen will serve a large-format meat and three sides designed to feed four to six people for a prix-fixe tab that will vary week to week, but you can expect something in the $75-$85 range. (although I guess that means the prix isn't exactly fixed.) The proteins will rotate weekly along with one special side. The other two accompaniments can be selected by the table from the regular menu.
“The family-style setting is ideal for sharing a meal and conversation around the supper table,” said Austin Ray, owner of The Sutler. “Chef Nick has fond memories of his own family’s Sunday meals, and he will pull inspiration from his native Mississippi as well as other parts of the South and West when preparing the weekly menus. As the title indicates, 'Grass Fed Sundays’ will feature the bounty of the season in a soulful dinner.”
First off is Condé Nast Traveler, which has compiled a list of "The Best New Restaurants of the South." Unlike some other "Best of" lists that appear to have been researched strictly via the Web, Condé Nast's list was written by Hannah Raskin, the food writer and critic for Charleston's Post and Courier. She has previously served as a critic for the Dallas Observer and Seattle Weekly. I know Hannah personally and greatly respect her work, and I appreciate that Condé Nast sought out an expert to compile this list.
Of the eight new Southern restaurants on her list, a quarter of them are here in Nashville. Raskin recognizes the new outpost of Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint on Belmont Boulevard for bringing Pat Martin's brand of whole-hog to the city. While Martin's makes frequent appearances on rosters of the best barbecue joints, it's good to see Pat Martin recognized in a cohort with fine dining destinations.
Her second choice in Nashville is a little more off the national radar, but no less deserving of the recognition. Raskin shines her spotlight upon Thai Esane at the mouth of the Gulch on 12th Avenue South. She was impressed by Nina Sayasack's approach to Thai/Laotian cuisine and recommends the restaurant's soups, sausages and spring rolls. I heartily concur!
Check out the menu:
Course One, paired with Ceretto Arneis Blange 2013
Choice of espresso rubbed Carpaccio of beef tenderloin with baby arugula, lemon, black pepper, olive oil and shaved Parmigiano Reggio or Tuscan kale Caesar salad with focaccia croutons
Course Two, paired with Ceretto Barbaresco 2011
Nova Scotia lobster pasta with orecchiette, butter poached lobster, wild mushrooms and baby peas tossed in a parmesan truffle sauce
Course Three, paired with Ceretto Barolo Brunate 2008
Choice of 14-ounce black pepper crusted prime New York strip with perigourdine sauce and crispy fried leeks or seared jumbo sea scallops with leek fondue and truffle sauce
Course Four, paired with Ceretto Moscato d’Asti 2013
Chocolate nut torta with hazelnute crème anglaise
If you're interested in attending, RSVP to Paige Dixon at email@example.com or (615) 742-3193.
Wright serves as a grill cook at The Slider House in Midtown, and so far has acquitted himself as well as can be expected on the contentious show. In last week's episode however, the Blue Team (made up of a bunch of aggro male chefs) turned on Wright and nominated him to be eliminated. This was despite the fact that most of the rest of the team lost their everloving minds during dinner service, and several of them were ejected from the kitchen by Chef Ramsey.
Fortunately, Ramsey saw through the Blue Team's cowardice and kept Wright in the game for at least one more episode. In fact, after a cliffhanger of an ending where Ramsey says he's not through yet, it appears as if Wright will be making a switch to the Red Team of female chefs. At least that's what it looks like according to the coming attractions.
Ryan, a former Tennessean reporter, launched the Walk Eat Nashville tours this fall as a way to show off the neighborhood she's come to love since first moving here in 2005.
Earlier this year Ryan participated in an entrepreneurship program at The Skillery to hone her business plan, learning that even East Nashvillians who love their 'hood and eating out felt like they couldn’t keep up with all the new restaurants on their side of town. And visitors wanted to uncover the local foodie scene they've heard so much about. So she worked with local restaurants and food-related businesses to create fun, tasty, interesting and time-efficient tours that appeal to both those who live down the street and those who live across the country.
Ryan is offering tours now on Thursdays (1:30 p.m.) and Fridays (11 a.m.), the idea being that if visitors take them early on in a trip to Music City they'll learn about places they want to check out in more depth on their own. Currently Walk Eat Nashville offers two tour routes, each with six eating stops, about 1.5 miles of walking over about two-and-a-half hours. New routes will be added in the future.
Possibilities include a Makers and Bakers route and a vegetarian option (currently vegetarian accommodations can be made with advance notice).
Ryan's ideal mix of tour-goers is one-third East Nashvillians, one-third folks from other parts of town and one-third visitors from elsewhere.
The brainchild of the same team behind Village Pub and Beer Garden, The Hop Stop is the sort of neighborhood taproom that fits in perfectly with the developing area at that end of Gallatin Road. A jukebox filled with great tunes offers ambiance along with vintage vinyl that the staff plays during weekly Bingo Nights. Dart boards are available in the back of the room for those wishing to enjoy that old pub game standard, but the highlight of The Hop Stop stretches the length of the room behind the bar.
A long and deep list of craft beers are available on tap by the pint or for growler fills, and the staff is quite knowledgeable about local, regional and even international beers. I especially appreciate the available variety of glassware to complement individual styles of beers, since not every beer demonstrates the highlights of its flavor in the traditional and popular shaker pint glass. (Really, none of them do.)
It’s a great program, one that inspires a love of books in children from a very early age.
Reading Roundup takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at The Loveless Barn with entertainment provided by Oklahoma. There will be cocktails as well as food provided by the Loveless Cafe. The menu includes a selection of salads, a “Chicken & Fixin’s Station” with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans, the biscuit bar with sausage gravy, sugared bacon, shaved country ham and homemade preserves, plus assorted pies for dessert.
I was able to get a sneak peek of the Sofritas last week when I stopped by the Belle Meade location. As with all of Chipotle’s “proteins,” you can get the Sofritas in a burrito, taco, burrito bowl or salad. It can also be combined with other proteins (the half chicken/half Sofritas is very popular) and other ingredients, including white or brown cilantro-lime rice, pinto beans or (vegetarian) black beans, salsas, guacamole, cheese and sour cream. I got a burrito salad bowl (essentially, a salad that also has rice) as well as a burrito to get two different taste and texture experiences.
First, the taste; the Sofritas have an excellent flavor and the poblanos and chipotles give it a bit of a kick. You can really taste the smoky flavor, even when doused with the honey vinaigrette dressing. The tofu was more apparent in the burrito and had a texture close to a turkey chili, according to Chipotle’s local marketing person, Mark Pilkington. If you think you don’t like tofu, you should note that it’s so finely shredded, you won’t even realize you’re eating it. In California, Sofritas meals are just as popular among omnivores as vegans.
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